Canadian & US DNC Regulations

The Canadian Do Not Call List was originally modeled after the American version. Generally, the two bills are similar. If you’re making calls in Canada, here are some similarities to expect in the Canadian Do Not Call List laws:

The “Existing Business Relationship” clause. Like the American version, the Canadian Do Not Call List includes an exemption for an “existing business relationship” (EBR). According to Canadian Do Not Call List law, you have an EBR with anyone who has bought, leased, or rented anything from your company in the last 18 months, or who has made an inquiry in the last six months.

The exceptions. Organizations unaffected by the Canadian Do Not Call List include nonprofits, polling companies, and politicians. Originally, Canadian consumer-advocacy groups objected to the exceptions in the Canadian Do Not Call List. However, they mostly mirrored those in the United States, and pressure from advocacy groups was not enough to remove them from the Canadian Do Not Call List.

In-house do-not-call. If your company is calling Canadian numbers, you must maintain an in-house do not call list. If you call a number not on the Canadian Do Not Call List, and that person asks not to be called again, their number is now off-limits. This requirement applies to organizations that are not affected by the Canadian Do Not Call List as well.

You’re responsible for your telemarketing firm’s compliance. If you outsource your calling campaign to an outside telemarketing firm, you are responsible for their compliance-and your business could wind up paying if they violate Canadian Do Not Call List rules. If you’re calling in Canada, you must make sure your telemarketing firm is familiar with the Canadian Do Not Call List rules.

The Canadian Do Not Call List, however, is not a mirror image of the US Do Not Call registry. The main difference you are going to notice is price.

The US Do Not Call Registry provides subscriptions for up to 5 area code for free, the Canadian Do Not Call List does not, you have to pay for each area code. The US Do Not Call Registry works on an annual basis, you will have access for 1 year before you have to renew, the Canadian Do Not Call List provides 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1 year options, each with their own subscription rate.

As a simple comparison:

  • the annual fee for the US Do Not Call Registry is $58usd for each area code (after the 5 free area codes) or $15,963usd for the entire country
  •  the annual fee for the Canadian Do Not Call List is $2,013cad for each area code (no free area codes) or $33,642cad for the entire country (for the entire rate breakdown for the 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1 year options visit our Telemarketing Regulations – Canada page)

Here are some other significant differences:

Newspapers can call. With the Canadian Do Not Call List, there is an exception for newspapers calling to solicit subscriptions. The Canadian government argues that newspapers deserve an exception because they are vital to the public discourse in their country.

The EBR time window. The Canadian Do Not Call List gives you twice the amount of time to contact someone who has made an inquiry with your business. In America, the window is three months-but the Canadian Do Not Call List gives you six months. This makes it important, if you’re making calls in Canada, to keep track of whom you’ve had contact with and when.

Your telemarketing script. The Canadian Do Not Call List requires you to disclose the purpose of your call, and the company or individual on whose behalf you’re calling, right away. Companies calling in Canada must make sure their telemarketing team have an appropriate script to satisfy Canadian Do Not Call List requirements.

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